Parents can’t always stay together until the children that they share turn 18. Sometimes, it is best for the entire family when parents decide to go their separate ways. However, when divorced and separated parents seek to sort out ways to share responsibility for their children, that process isn’t always easy.

The Texas family courts can help parents put together paperwork to govern their relationship with one another and their shared children. Parenting plans divide time with the children, while support orders will create financial obligations.

The non-custodial parent generally pays child support

There are many myths about child support. For example, some people claim that a parent’s role or sex influences their obligation to provide financial support. However, the Texas child support law doesn’t mention a parent’s role or identity at all. It focuses on how much time the children spend with each parent, each parent’s income and the number of children who require support from each parent.

Typically, the parent who has less time with the children will be the one with the responsibility to pay child support. The funds they send can help to ensure an acceptable standard of living at the other home. Even in scenarios where parents have a 50/50 division of parenting time, one may have to pay support if they earn far more than the other. Judges will look at the number of children and the income of the parents when determining how much support someone has to pay. Typically, support lasts until a child turns 18 or graduates from high school.

Support and custody issues frequently change

People frustrated with the custody or child support terms set in their initial family law hearings don’t necessarily have to live forever with those unfavorable terms. Texas families can occasionally go back to court to secure modifications for both custody orders and child support orders.

Changes in family circumstances sometimes warrant revisions to existing orders. Other times, people may need help from the courts to enforce an order when the other parent doesn’t fulfill their obligations. Learning the basic rules that apply to Texas child support orders and speaking with a legal professional about one’s unique circumstances can benefit those who are preparing for changes to their family circumstances.